Brampton Board of Trade
| 2 minutes

Who is Marit Stiles? New ONDP Leader Shares Renewed Commitment to Brampton During BBOT Visit

The Brampton Board of Trade (BBOT) had the pleasure of welcoming the leader of the Ontario NDP and the Official Opposition at Queen’s Park, Marit Stiles, on Friday May 10th. During our curated roundtable with local businesses, Stiles emphasized that her leadership represents a new chapter in the New Democratic Party (NDP) and she is making a conscious effort to connect with the business community. She outlined her focus on healthcare, housing, and affordability.

When asked about why the NDP lost seats in Brampton, Stiles highlighted the abysmal voter turnout and believes the NDP needs to be accountable for not giving reasons for voters to engage in the political process.

Our discussion delved into a range of concerns, particularly with transit in Brampton. Traffic congestion has become nearly insurmountable in the GTA. Stiles’ team has proposed to make the 407 toll-free for truckers in an effort to divert trucks from the 401 to the under-utilized 407. While Stiles raised concerns about the Ford government’s proposed 413 highway, she was quick to remind us that the NDP is not running an anti 413 campaign. Instead, her goal is to ensure that proper process and assessments are carried out.

Stiles also expressed the need for the provincial government to relieve pressure on municipal finances and invest more in public transit to accommodate population growth. Municipalities are severely constrained financially and should not be left to foot the bill for major infrastructure projects. She also criticized the influence of politics on transit planning, the bloated bureaucracy of Metrolinx, and advocated for building housing around transit hubs.

Like many Bramptonians, Stiles was disappointed that specific funding commitments for the Hazel McCallion LRT extension into downtown Brampton was not explicitly mentioned in the provincial budget. She also believes that the current government has been to slow to provide two way all day GO service on the Kitchener line, something for which the Opposition has routinely advocated.

The conversation also touched on declining healthcare and education funding, with Stiles pointing out has led to worsened outcomes. Brampton has largely been left behind with far fewer hospital beds per resident than the provincial average.

An important part of this visit was inviting Stiles to learn from businesses and ask questions about their experience. She learned about frustration with the provincial procurement process and proposed changes to the RFP process to encourage innovation and reduce red tape. She emphasized the importance of workforce training for foreign workers and diverse vendor strategies to address workforce shortages. She also invited folks to follow up with her to connect them with programs that might benefit their business. Stiles made a note of bringing up what was discussed in her BBOT visit during Question Period to hold the government to account for some of the transit, healthcare, and education concerns in Brampton.

The Brampton Board of Trade is grateful for Marit Stiles’ visit and looks forward to her continued advocacy for Brampton constituents. This will be discussed at our next Policy and Government Relations (PGR) committee meeting, and we plan on ensuring Stiles’ office remains accountable on the items presented in the roundtable. BBOT is a nonpartisan organization committed to hearing from leaders across the political spectrum on how they are prioritizing Brampton’s economic growth. If you have any questions or want to be part of the PGR committee, reach out to vsingh@bramptonbot.com.

Related Articles

AdvocacyBusinessCommunityGovernmentNetworkingTechnology

CEO Announcement

Upcoming Events

The Brampton Board of Trade has developed a dynamic series of events tailored to the needs of Brampton businesses. Whether it’s to recognize the individual and collective success of Brampton businesses or to share best practices in a webinar or workshop, our events are designed to connect Brampton’s business community and foster your growth and development.

With ongoing forums, networking events, and Signature events such as our Business Excellence Awards, another event is always around the corner.

View Upcoming Events